Facts of the Year about STI in Russia
Each fact has a hidden facet (which you can find by clicking on the dot next to the heading or on the ‘Expand all’ button).
Russia holds 4th place in terms of the total number of R&D personnel (following China, the US, and Japan), while its corps of researchers has noticeably improved and expanded over the past ten years.
In 2017, 707,887 people were employed in the R&D sector: 359,793 of them were researchers, 43.9% of whom were under 39 years old (+12.1 percentage points compared with 2008).
The average age of researchers is currently 47 (which remained unchanged since 2014).
The availability of research equipment and facilities in the Russian R&D sector is improving both in quantitative and qualitative terms.
By the end of 2017, the average annual value of fixed assets in the R&D sector was 1.97 trillion roubles and the value of machinery and equipment 827.5 billion roubles.
New equipment (up to five years old) amounts to 42.1% of the total value of technical assets.
The state remains the largest source of R&D support in Russia. In most developed and emerging countries, the bulk of R&D funding comes from private companies.
Internal R&D expenditures in Russia in 2017 amounted to slightly more than 1 trillion roubles (2.6% growth compared with 2016, adjusting for inflation).
The share of public funds (66.2%) was two times higher than private businesses’ investments (30.2%).
The number of papers by Russian researchers annually indexed in Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus databases has almost doubled over the past decade, with the country currently ranking 14th in the world (in 2007 it was 13th).
The share of Russian publications in the WoS was 2.8% in 2017, in Scopus — 2.9% (+0.46% and +0.22% compared with 2016, respectively).
Russian authors’ relative contribution to world publications is the largest in natural and precise sciences (3.7% of WoS-indexed papers). Next come contributions to engineering and technology (2.7%), social sciences (1.5%), humanities (1.5%), medical and health sciences (0.7%), and agricultural sciences (0.6%).
Russia is 12th in the world in terms of the number of patent applications. Note that in the past 10 years, it has dropped two places down in the ranking (giving way to Italy and India). The country’s technological specialisation essentially remained unchanged throughout the period.
In 2017, Russian applicants filed 27,800 patent applications or 47 times fewer than Chinese ones.
Russia specialises in developing technologies in areas such as analysis of biological material, surface technology and coating, materials and metallurgy, micro-structure and nanotechnology, environmental technology, engines, pumps, and turbines.
Areas important for the digital economy, such as audio-visual technologies, telecommunications, digital communication, and computer technologies still remain outside the country’s technological specialisation. In terms of the number of patented inventions, Russia is only in the top-20 in each of the above domains.
Russian organisations’ participation in R&D networks significantly correlates with their innovative activity and is mostly limited to domestic networks.
In 2017, 3.3% of industrial companies implemented joint R&D projects, meanwhile, for companies engaged in technological innovation, the relevant figure is 27.4%.
Their key partners are R&D organisations (45.4%), suppliers (40%), members of the same group of companies (34.3%), universities (31.5%), consumers (26.9%), consulting firms (11.3%), and competitors (7.4%).
The vast majority (more than 90%) of such collaborations took place in Russia and with Russian partners.
Of the total, 3.5% of joint R&D projects were implemented with partners from EU countries, 1.6% with the CIS ones, 0.9% with US and Canadian organisations, and 0.8% with Indian and Chinese partners.
Innovative activity is not very prevalent in Russia. It is not sufficient to significantly step up the country’s technological development. The overall economic effect of innovation is not very clear.
In 2017, 2,321 industrial companies were engaged in technological innovation or 9.6% of their total number (to compare, in Germany the relevant share was 58.9%, Finland — 52%, France — 46.5%, the UK — 45.7%, Denmark — 39.4%).
The output of innovative industrial products made using new or improved technologies in 2017 amounted to 3.4 trillion roubles (-13% compared with 2016, adjusting for inflation).
The share of innovative products and services in total sales does not exceed 6.7% (to compare: in the UK this share is 43.5%, Switzerland — 24.5%, France — 23.6%, and Spain — 22.4%).
According to ISSEK experts’ estimates, by 2030 digitalisation could facilitate a 30% increase in GDP given favourable institutional conditions and the adequate development of ICT infrastructure.
The ICT sector creates infrastructure for the digital economy, that is, companies specialising in telecommunications, the production of relevant equipment, wholesale trade in ICT products, or the provision of ICT services. By the end of 2017, the ICT sector employed 1.2 million people (or 1.7% of the total Russian workforce).
In terms of GDP share (2.7%) the ICT sector is comparable with the energy supply sector (2.9% of GDP), 33% smaller than the agricultural (4.4%) and financial sectors (4.2%), 50% smaller than construction (6.4%), and 75% smaller than mining (10.4%).
The higher education sector is the most rapidly growing segment of the Russian R&D sphere. The number of universities engaged in research and development has doubled since 2000.
In 2017, 610 higher education institutions were conducting R&D or 79.8% of their total number (40.4% in 2000). R&D expenditures in the higher education sector in the same year reached 91.9 billion roubles (a 290% increase compared with 2000, adjusted for inflation).
Almost a third (31.5%) of internal R&D expenditures in the sector are incurred by national research universities, 9.8% by leading classic universities, and 8.4% by federal universities.
Most of the R&D expenditures in the higher education sector (71.1%) are related to implementing S&T priorities.
ISSEK researchers suggest that the business climate in the R&D sector could be analysed using approaches similar to those typically applied in conventional business climate studies such as Doing Business.
In 2017, the composite business climate index value for the Russian R&D sector was estimated at 3.17 points out of 5, on the whole indicating a neutral situation. The prospects for the next five years were assessed as moderately positive, at 3.46.
The survey was conducted using a representative sample comprising 361 R&D organisations and universities. The heads of these organisations were asked to assess the current state of and future prospects for the R&D sector in the country. As were their deputies in charge of research or innovation, that is, the people responsible for setting organisations’ strategies and daily practices, who have first-hand knowledge of the relevant government policies’ effectiveness.
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